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  • Writer's pictureNikita Boston-Fisher

Heart Health Month

February is Heart Health Month, in today’s blog let’s briefly discuss heart disease.

Did you know that Heart Disease is the number 1 killer of women in both the US and Canada? Yes it is! According to the American Heart Association (AHA) Go Red for Women campaign, heart disease kills 1 in 3 women. Data from the campaign also states that 49% of African American women over the age of 20 have heart diseases. Source here. Data from Heart and Stroke Canada states that Indigenous women are 2x as likely as non-Indigenous women to have heart disease and that women of South Asian, Chinese and Afro-Caribbean descent also have higher rates of heart disease. (Source)

What are some of the risk factors for heart disease?

  • Smoking

  • Diabetes

  • High Blood Pressure

  • Overweight or obesity

  • Physical inactivity

  • Unhealthy diet

What are some of the symptoms of a heart attack?

The movies often portray that the sign of a heart attack is chest pain however for women it can be more subtle. Check out this wonderful infographic below from the American Heart Association to see how heart attack symptoms differ between men and women. Link to this graphic can also be found here.

What can be done to lower your risk?

Fortunately there are some things which can be done to lower risk. They include:

  • Discuss your numbers with your doctor: know your cholesterol, blood pressure and A1C numbers and find out how you can improve them if they are in the danger zone.

  • If you smoke, come up with a plan to quit.

  • Exercise regularly (AHA recommends 150 minutes per week)

  • Eat as healthily as possible (avoid sugary and preprocessed foods, incorporate lots of whole foods such as fruits, vegetables and other foods high in fiber)

Learn more from these resources:

American Heart Association: Warning signs of heart attack and stroke

Release the Pressure: They have designed resources to help women monitor their blood pressure.

GirlTrek: Activates women to get walking and prioritize their health and self care.

National Heart Lung & Blood Institute: Heart Action Plan for African American women.

See you in the cafe next week!


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